As a professional/emerging artist, there are certain things you should and should not do. When these things are followed carefully and adhered to, it gives your career the kind of boost it needs. So, let us get right to it;
Do try to be as professional as possible
Exceptional talents are being discovered every day and so many other exceptional others are circulating on social media. So, the probability is very limited that a low-quality art piece can stand out among the crowd. Therefore, make sure that your work is professional. Ask yourself, can my artwork attract my audience’s attention within the first thirty seconds? Don’t settle for the ordinary and don’t start your craft without finishing it. Professionalism doesn’t stop at creating quality works, it includes having a strong digital/online presence, professional photos, business card, and an excellently written bio.
Don’t be lazy
Do put in more than enough work
Creating a work of art requires a lot of effort and sacrifice; a negligent, slow, and work-shy artist can not be successful. Art production can be vigorous which means without a solid level of determination, success becomes a dream rather than a reality.
As an artist, endeavor to learn new and innovative ways of bettering your craft. Put effort into such things as sending emails to galleries for collaboration or sponsorship, finding other places to showcase your art… Always do more than wishing but act your wishes. Your probability for success increases when you are hardworking not when you are doing below the minimum required actions; that way you can’t get noticed by art lovers, galleries, or collectors.
Don’t be afraid to monetize
Do have a strategy to build, increase, and sustain your cash flow
Money invested in standard art materials and tools is as important as putting time and effort into the creation of your art. Nonetheless, without a structured plan to make money from your art or have constant cash flow- it might be hard to sustain your career as an artist.
But Don’t do it for the money
Do it for the LOVE of art
The first mistake you will make is deciding to create art to make money. That should be your secondary goal not the initial and paramount aim because if the money or enough of it doesn’t come in, it affects your concentration, determination, success, and creativity. Do it for art’s sake first.
Also, most artists make the mistake of spending lavishly once the cash starts rolling in. However, the goal of making money from your art is not to pocket all that cash. Until you become very profitable, the first revenues you made should be invested back into yourself and your art. That money should be invested in solo shows, marketing, buying more sophisticated art tools and materials that make your work easier and a whole lot more. Reinvesting and being committed to your art, first of all, allows you to continue to grow, develop, and build on your success. This in return continues to contribute to more cash flow and profitability.
Don’t ignore criticism
Do invite advise
Never allow yourself to be threatened by critics because for you to grow and become successful; you should give room for people to comment on your work especially those who have more experience than you.
When people drop their comments or when you feel criticized if you could; ask them for their reasons for saying such; as a way to better understand how to be better. A successful artist accepts what they are doing wrong or things they don’t know. So you should not hesitate to listen to others who can help provide answers.
Don’t be a loner
Do network and support others
Attend art fairs, gallery exhibitions, and art events as they are one of the best locations to network with art lovers, investors, stakeholders, curators, collectors, exhibitors, other artists, make connections and new fans. Engage in face to face contact with colleagues and help with their projects as much as you can when asked or invited. Remember that staying out of sight is staying out of mind.
For instance, when someone is organizing a big art show or festival- they contact people who are on top of their minds, not people they have not seen in a while. Nonetheless, to stay relevant and active show up to events, fix and meet up for dinners, and keep in touch.
Lastly, don’t only show support for artists; give aid to people who are doing interesting things you admire or people who inspire you. Understand that organizing an art show or event, for example, includes a combination of different careers and individuals other than an artist. Definitely, in the time when you need support from others, the ones you have genuinely supported will be there to have your back.
Don’t follow the crowd
Do create a niche for yourself
Authenticity is everything in art. Let people know you for your own style and the kind of honest message you pass. Aim to keep it real as that is the only way you can gain longevity in the art industry. Stand out don’t blend in.
Don’t get carried away with the limelight
Do remain inspired and active
There will come a time when things are working out, a lot of artworks become sold, solo shows become sold out, bookings for art fairs and festivals start rolling in, and overall- you are the buzz of the town. The worst thing you can do at this time is to get comfortable and forget about the hustle to be a classic artist, not a rich and famous one.
Momentum or buzz is that aura of popularity that surrounds an artist who hustles right. However, when you reach this momentum or gain this buzz in your career there is still so much you can do. So at this time, ensure you have even more shows and exhibitions, more unique artworks to sell or display.